Paper Torso with Removable Organs by Horst Kiechle

Australian architect Horst Kiechle has created a life size torso with removable organs, made entirely out of A4 sheets of paper/card (240g/m²) and glue, called 'Paper Torso'.

It was made for the Science Lab of the International School Nadi, Fiji.

"I started with searching the Internet for images of internal organs, but even with dozens of images of the pancreas I had no idea where to put them. A real breakthrough happened when I found on Google the Zygote Body website. Thanks to the different transparency levels, I could work out the relative positions of the organs. It is quite good for looking at the organs, as well."

"The first torso I designed was with high-end immersive reality software during a residency at the CSIRO in Australia in 1997. Since then, I have trained myself to design straight in 3D software and, thanks to improved computer power and graphics, any 3D software will do these days, especially as one of the aims is to keep the polygon count very low so you can build the object manually. The skill comes with positioning the triangles in such a way that they suggest curvature with as few triangles as possible. For unfolding the 3D design into the 2D cutting and folding patterns, I have developed my own software over the past 15 years. Commercial software that does this sort of thing is now available, at Pepakura Designer for example."

"The idea for this project came from Ms. Joanne Nakora from the International School Nadi in the Fiji Islands. Now, Fijians are famous for playing rugby, not so much for delicate paper craft. In order for the torso to survive in this environment, it had to be strong. Definitely strong enough for the organs to withstand the occasional kick across the class room."

"Each design, therefore, consists of horizontal and vertical strips and, after laminating three layers together, it becomes quite strong. Additional strength should come from a layer of polyurethane after the teachers and students complete painting the organs."

"Sometimes, the process of which strip goes where is a bit tricky. Not really difficult, just very time consuming."

"The most difficult bit at the design stage was to make sure that the gap between the organs is large enough to slide them in and out. Also, it was challenging to create ledges the organs could rest on when the torso is in its standing position. The heart still has a tendency to fall out if the torso gets knocked. Something to improve upon in future versions."

Kiechle launched a website with free downloadable templates you can print and assemble along with photographed step-by-step instructions.

"Response to your post has been huge - now everyone wants one - or the patterns to build one. Might have to put my current project on hold and work on simple versions of the torso for people to do themselves. This was part of the original idea, but got shelved when I moved from Fiji to Bangkok."

All images are © Copyright of Horst Kiechle

Check his Flickr and website:

Source: mymodernmet


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